I bet that title is getting some attention. I bet a lot of you are wondering where I am going with this, so just bear with me as I explain myself. This is not going to be one of my normal funny posts but I have been working on it for some time as I have been trying to find the right words.
I myself am not gay. I am a tolerant and accepting person. I would never look down on someone because of their sexuality. I have members in my family and friends in same-sex relationships. Later this summer, I’ll be attending a same-sex wedding for two friends of mine who are getting married.
So when I say that I hope my son never comes out to me what I am really saying is that I hope that by the time my son is old enough to be dealing with such things that he wouldn’t be afraid to discuss his feelings with me as they develop. I don’t want to have a son who through adolescence works through complicated feelings of love and attraction alone. I want him to understand he can always talk to me in a safe space without judgment.
Maybe I am naive and maybe I am not understanding what it is like to be young person dealing with these feelings and if that is the case I apologize. I would hope that as I raise my son he sees that through the person I am that it wouldn’t matter to me. I would hope that as he is growing and maturing that conversations about human attraction and sexuality are not verboten in our household. I want him to grow up seeing what a healthy relationship looks like – between his father and me, but also through others in our circle of family and friends some of whom are in same sex relationships.
By saying that I hope my son never comes out to me, what I am projecting is a hope that our world will get to a point where one isn’t expected to “announce” their sexuality. People should be free to be who they are and it doesn’t have to be breaking news when a person dates someone of the same sex or says the type of person they are attracted to. I guess I could be naive in this sense. Not being gay and never having gone through it perhaps I don’t understand all the nuances surrounding “coming out”.
But I can’t help but think that if we were truly a tolerant and accepting society with real equality perhaps coming out wouldn’t be approached the same way. People would just accept you for who you are. In a truly equal society wouldn’t saying your gay be greeted with the same reaction to saying your straight?
I hope to be the type of parent who can really be there for her children, to know what they are going through and be there to talk about complicated issues instead of having them navigate the truth and misinformation that is out there from other sources. If I am truly this type of parent, I would think that my son would never have to announce his sexuality because hopefully I would already know who he is.
Watching the fights for marriage equality over my lifetime has been fascinating. To see the shift in public consciousness towards a more accepting world is liberating. While there are still roadblocks and people fighting marriage equality, I sense that we are moving in a positive direction in terms of LGBTQ issues. I had friends recently lament and express disappointment to see negative press related to Caitlyn Jenner and while it is disappointing to see that, I am proud of our society and culture by the amount of positive press and praise she has received. Five years ago, I don’t think she would have received so much support from the media and I think as a society we should be proud of that progress.
My son is only 11 months old. I have no idea what type of person he will grow up to be. But I want him to grow up in a household of acceptance and love knowing we, his parents, aren’t going to change our interactions or our relationship with him based his sexuality.